Japanese man attacks students with knife; 13 hurt

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TOKYO – An unemployed Japanese man with a knife attacked students and other passengers waiting on two public buses outside a train station Friday in a rampage that left 13 people injured, police said.

Police arrested Yuta Saito, 27, on charges of attempted murder after he was subdued by residents during the melee outside Toride Station in Ibaraki Prefecture, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo, local police spokesman Masaru Morita said.

"I wanted to end my life. It is true that I wounded people at random with a kitchen knife," Saito told police, according to Kyodo News Agency.

Television images from the scene showed pools of blood on the floor of a public bus, with a large area outside the station cordoned off by police.

Eleven of the injured were junior high and high school students, fire department spokesman Shireka Iyoka said. One of the injured has wounds that will require several weeks of treatment in hospital, while the others were not seriously hurt, he said.

The attack occurred around 7:40 a.m. Friday morning, when the children were likely on their way to school.

Four of the injured had been stabbed and others were hurt while trying to escape, Kyodo News agency reported.

The incident evoked memories of an attack that left seven people dead in central Tokyo in 2008. That attack drew national attention for its ferocity, in which a man slammed a truck into a crowd of people in the Akihabara electronics district and began stabbing passers-by at random.

After the Akihabara incident and other high profile attacks, Japan toughened its knife laws. Regulations that went into effect last year ban double-edged weapons that are 2.2 inches (5.5 centimeters) or longer, shortening the limit from 15 centimeters.

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